The next morning, we had to be up very early to catch our bus to the National Park. I was one of the first ready and left the house carrying my big backpack and a box of everyone’s food. Joaquin and I had made it to the bus just in time and we were still waiting for the 7 others to join us. Luckily, they all made it just in time. As we were departing the bus station, I remembered that we had left the cheese, bacon and chicken in the hostel’s fridge. Oh well it was just vegetables for dinner then!
Arrived at the national park to pay the entrance fee! I had to pay about £35 whereas the Chileans in the group only about £10. What a price difference!
Next stop, the ferry port to take us over to the first camp site. On arrival it was raining but managed to get our tents up before we headed off on a small walk along one of the less travelled trails.
Then preparing dinner in the kitchen.
This was the first day for a full 10-hour hike. We started at our campsite Paine Grande and headed up to see Gray glacier.
It was a fun day but sometimes the wind was very cold. We had made it to the glacier and the next campsite for lunch.
To get a better look at the glacier we hike a bit further and across some hanging bridges. Where only one person was allowed to cross at once.It was then time to head back to our camp site. This is when the grey clouds started coming over us. The heavens opened and we got socked. Then the sun came out and we managed to dry off but as we were getting close to camp yet again the skies turned black and we got drenched. This is when I found out that my waterproof coat was no longer waterproof! I was socked all the way through down to my underwear. Although, it was lovely to have a hot shower and change on return to camp.
The summer days are so long here. I noticed that it was hard to feel sleepy when it was still light at 11pm!
Getting very wet the day before had a knock-on effect for the next day. The plan was to hike to the Británico lookout but we set off late as we were trying our hardest to dry off our coats and shoes still. This meant that we didn’t have time on our side we only managed to walk to the next campsite and back. It was still such a beautiful hike and I had to modify my coat so it would be waterproof again…a bin bag was very handy. There were a few showers but most of the day was glorious sunshine.
This camp site was not actually open for people to stay at but we did have to use the toilet…this was not a pleasant experience, because of location it was a drop toilet but the stench is indescribable. These were also toilets that were in a treehouse like structure we had to climb the stairs.
On the way back to camp I was having a
lot of trouble with my knee and found it so hard to stand on my leg. Luckily,
we had trekking poles which helped a lot. On the lake we saw how strong the
wind was as it was creating mini twisters of water and blowing droplets of
water in the air and creating rainbows over the lake. On another part of this trail,
we were walking into the wind it was hard to walk very far at all and then
other times the wind would be at our sides or behind us and kept blowing me
over. I lost count of the number of times I ended up on the floor that day. I then had to get it strapped up...its a good job there were physio's with me.
This was a little rest day…as we couldn’t book the middle camp site on this trail, we decided to miss out the middle part and we had to get back on the ferry and take a bus to the last part of the trail instead.
I felt like this was a great idea because we got to see some amazing parts of the park and trail, we didn’t have to carry a heavy backpack over rough terrain (I don’t think my knee would have coped with the extra weigh actually), and we managed to have a bit of a rest day in the middle as 10 hours a day of hiking is a lot on the body.Jorge decided that he would hike to the next campsite but we had to take his backpack with us on the ferry and bus. Off we set to the next camp site and was time to set up the tents, have an early dinner and off to bed very very early because……
WE GOT UP AT 2AM! Yes, 2am! We wanted to see the sunrise over the famous Torres del Paine peak. It is not advised to do this hike during the night but we also had to catch our bus at noon! We hoped to get there before the sunrise and get back intime to pack up the tents and board our bus back to Puerto Natales.
It was so lucky
that everyone managed to arrive safely. When we were almost back to camp we passed
many people heading up to the spot but they kept asking us how much further it
was…we said you have a few hours to go yet! Even though I was struggling to
walk I still managed to arrive back to camp before some of the other in the
This was just a rest day and a day to explore Puerto Natales, we went to see the hand in the south (which is only the finger tips), and in the evening there was a beer festival which we ended up at.
Then, for me, it was time to head off to Scout camp for another week of sleeping in the tent.